Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PRIDE Month Review & Giveaway: Best Lesbian Romance edited by Radclyffe!

Title: Best Lesbian Romance of the Year

Author: Radclyffe

Format: Paperback, 244 pages

Pub. Date: June 9th 2015

Source: Cleis Press

Book Description via Goodreads:

The stories in Best Lesbian Romance 2015 will have readers falling in love with love all over again. A celebration of the swooning sensation of a first crush, the dizzying feel of a first touch and the raw electric elation of sexual passion are all captured here. Radclyffe, the highly lauded romance novelist and master editor always covers the full range of lesbian love- a real spectrum of experience with plenty of room for passion and possibility, as praised by The Advocate, "Every story the human heart can tell."



Ah. Lesbian romance. I'm a sucker for a good female/female romance, since my partner and I are happily in love and she is in fact a female. I was excited when Best Lesbian Romance fell into my hands. I love Cleis anthologies, I love lesbians, and I love romance- what's not to like? Overall, this was a really enjoyable book that offers something for everyone. There are different pairings that make each story unique- new lovers, old lovers, "straight" women, butches, femmes. There are tons of variations in these stories, and I think that's part of what makes this book a pleasant one to read. There are 18 independent short stories in this book, so it's easy to read either all at once, or in bite sized little pieces.

Since it's an anthology, the stories were hit and miss for me. I loved some, but didn't enjoy others as much. It's unprofessional and disrespectful to call out specific stories and why I didn't like them, in my opinion, so I'll be vague. There's a negative stereotype in the LGBT community that lesbians move too fast in relationships. It's a running joke. That's how I felt about some of these. These are short stories, so you only have a limited space to create love- I understand that. But a lot of them felt rushed, and not in a whimsical love-at-first-sight kind of way. I was also irritated at a story that kept referring to a girl as a nerd or a geek (I got it the first time) and a story where it closed with the main character saying "Love you too." "Love you" and "I love you" are two very different tones to this reader.

Now that the unpleasant bits are out of the way, I'd like to take my review space to highlight the good stories instead of going over all of the bad. I'd like to share with you my three favorite stories in this anthology. The following stories are in no particular order. The first story that I loved is called "Red Velvet Cake" by Tamsin Flowers. I've read Flowers' work before and loved it, and this story definitely lives up to my admiration of her. This story involves a barista, a loyal customer, and a flirty game of "do you like girls or not". The title drew me in first, admittedly, as I adore red velvet cake. But the whole coffee shop romance thing came off as steamy as a good espresso and sweeter than a frappe. The second story that stood out to me is called "Waterfall" by LT Masters. This tells the tale of a lover left waiting, a stranded and injured hiker, and a hidden cave in the woods. I thought this one was really sincere and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I'd really like to see it become part of a longer story arc, but that's just me being greedy, I'm sure ;) I love hiking and the woods, so this was an extra fun read for me. The last one that I'd like to highlight is called "Gargoyle Lovers" by Sacchi Green. This is another author whom I've read before and really enjoyed, so it's not at all surprising that this is one of my top picks. This story includes a honeymoon trip to Paris, a chained rendez-vous on a balcony, a fascination with gargoyles, and a trip to the local adult shop. This one was equal parts of dreamy and sexy, and honestly has created a whole new fantasy that I'd like to bring to life, s'il vous plait.

I tried to just do three, but I am giving an honorable mention to "Like a Breath of Ocean Blue" by Elizabeth Banks, and the story she weaves using the ocean, Kahlua, and a tourist-y t-shirt shop. It's summery and nice, and it's summery and nice while I'm reading it, so it was an extra nice treat.

All in all, I think that this is an anthology that blends together the sex scenes Cleis Press is known for, softened by the melty, warm feeling of falling in love all over again. I'd recommend it to lesbian readers, fans of F/F romance, or even just romance in general. I'm happy to display this on my shelf, and I'm sure I'll revisit some of these stories again.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway Blitz: Sideswiped by Lia Riley!

Title: Sideswiped

Series: Off the Map #2

Author: Lia Riley

Publisher: Forever

About the Book:

It was only meant to last the summer . . .
Talia Stolfi has seen more than her share of loss in her twenty-one years. But then fate brought her Bran Lockhart, and her dark world was suddenly and spectacularly illuminated. So if being with Bran means leaving her colorless SoCal life for rugged and wild Australia, then that's what she'll do. But as much as Talia longs to give herself over completely to a new beginning, the fears of her past are still lurking in the shadows.

Bran Lockhart knows that living without the beautiful girl who stole his heart will be torment, so he'll take whatever time with her he can. But even though she has packed up her life in California and is back in his arms for the time being, she can't stay forever. And the remaining time they have together is ticking by way too fast. Though fate seems determined to tear them apart, they won't give up without a fight-because while time may have limits, their love is infinite . . .


Talia passes out hard from the travel and epic reunion sex. I’m too amped for sleep, so I lie in the dark and trace her spine. Can you love someone too much? No point being afraid, might as well jump in it with both feet. I press my mouth to her neck and she undulates, responsive even from her dreams. If miracles were real, I’d swear we were designed to fit together.
I loop my arm around her waist and hold fast, until our breathing syncs. I’m drifting off when she jerks—hard—once, twice. Her body recoils as she unleashes a lung-tearing scream.
“Talia, wake up. Come on, sweetheart, talk to me.” I clamber over her, hunching protectively. “Open your eyes. It’s Bran. I’ve got you. I’m not letting go.” I keep talking while she flays my chest like she’s drowning under ice, desperate to find a break in the surface.
“Can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I…where am…oh God. Bran.”
“I’m right here.” I cradle her while she draws another unsteady gasp. Her hair plasters her forehead in sweaty wisps.
“Give me a minute. I’ll be fine.” She pushes herself to a half-sit and sways with disorientation. “This…this happens sometimes…panic attacks or night terrors…whatever. They seem to come when I drop my guard. Or, I don’t know, maybe it’s the meds. Those pills make me feel like a toxic waste dump.”
“Have you been bad this summer?” The muscles in my neck cord. It shreds my guts to see her hurting. I’d do anything, any fucking thing, to carry her pain. I don’t fully understand the inner workings of OCD but she’s explained that for her, the condition comes in waves. Everything will be rolling along fine, more or less, and then bang—a giant squid grips her brain. She fights hard for recovery, a warrior even when she believes she’s nothing but a coward.
“No, not really.” She grinds her eyes with the backs of her hands. “I kinda danced around the edge of the rabbit hole a few times but never fell inside.”
My muscles release some tension. “Try to go back to sleep. You need the rest. Don’t worry, I’ll keep watch, okay?”
“I’m sorry to be such a psych job. It’s totally shaming.”
Her chin tips down. “Can you talk to me for a little while? Get me out of my fuckball head?”
“Hey now, I got mad love for that head, Captain.” I kiss her brow, acting chill even though I’m scared. How can I get her to settle? Then it hits me. “I want to take you surfing again.”
“Mmmm, that’d be nice.”
“Picture yourself out there, in the water, on a board, under the shooting stars.”
“With sharks eyeballing me from the depths?”
“Nah, they’re all busy hunting sea lions or some bloody mischief. This is you, the sea, and the sky. A set rolls in. You can’t make out the wave. The board lifts and you feel the momentum building. There’s fear deep in your belly, sensible, because you can’t see what’s coming or where you’re going. You fight the self-protective instincts, give yourself over, and the next thing you know—you’re having the ride of your life.”
“Thank you.” She flips in my arms so we’re belly to belly. “I mean it. That was beautiful, really, really beautiful. I’m so excited to be here, for right now—to live in the moment. But it’s like I have this…this weird mental stutter. My thoughts keep skipping over the same annoying question like a scratch on vinyl: What will we do?” Tears spill from the corners of her eyes, course silently toward her chin. “My visa.”
Talia’s been granted a three-month student visa to complete her senior thesis in history. In all its benevolent generosity, the Australian government expanded her time in the country by an extra month.
Four months—the sum of our allotted time.
“They’ll make me leave.”
“Don’t believe everything you think.” I wipe her damp cheeks.
“Can you tattoo that on my forehead?”
Maybe it’s my imagination, but the brass alarm clock on the dresser clicks louder.
Another second gone.
Another second gone.
“I’m not losing you to some shithouse immigration policy, Captain. We will be all right in the end.” I’ve no idea how the hell I’m going to solve this drama but I will figure it out. “We have to hope, otherwise we’re sunk.”
She jerks with surprised laughter.
She hiccups and covers her mouth with her hand, shoulders shaking. It takes me a second to realize she’s giggling.
“I’m funny to you right now?” This girl drives me every sort of crazy.
“I’m not laughing at you.” She works her lips together and unsuccessfully smothers the smile. “It’s—”
“Forget it.” I instinctively stiffen.
“Bran the Optimist.” She grabs my wrists, lifts my palms to her face, and plants a kiss in the center of each one. “I like this side of you.”
“Never mind. I was being dumb.”
“You were awesome.” She pecks the tip of my nose. “And for the record, I love your stupid face.”
I give her a begrudging kiss back. “I love yours too.”
Love isn’t enough of a word.
I wasted almost an entire year of my life implementing a scorched earth policy, not caring who I left burned and broken in my path.
Talia was my oasis. My salvation.
“Don’t give the visa a second thought.” I nestle her against me, rubbing her lower back in easy circles. “I’ll sort this out, I swear to you.”
Even if I don’t have the first fucking clue.

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Title: Upside Down

Series: Off the Map #1

Author: Lia Riley

Publisher: Forever

About the Book:

If you never get lost, you'll never be found…
Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

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Title: Inside Out

Series: Off the Map #3

Author: Lia Riley

Publisher: Forever

About the Book:

Love is their best adventure yet . . .
Talia Stolfi is deeply in love with the brooding Aussie surfer who stole her heart-but their infrequent letters only get her so far. While she fulfills her dream of being in the Peace Corps, a dangerous condition jeopardizes her life . . . and threatens to shatter her heart.

After nearly losing Talia forever, Bran Lockhart sailed to the stormy seas at the ends of the earth. Deep down, he knows that all roads worth traveling lead back to the beautiful California girl with the sunny smile. There's no denying that he belongs with her, but to have her by his side means Bran must dare to do something he's never done before: hope. Everything they've fought for has come down to this moment. Can Talia and Bran discover the courage to claim their future and learn that sometimes, in order to earn true love, you need to venture off the map?

Preorder it Here:

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About the Author:

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PRIDE Month Review & Giveaway: Best Lesbian Erotica edited by Laura Antoniou!

Title: Best Lesbian Erotica 2015

Author: Laura Antoniou

Format: Paperback, 232 pages

Pub. Date: Feb. 17th 2015

Source: Cleis Press

Book Description via Goodreads:

"Everyone needs a little magic in their life."

Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 features the fiercest, freshest lesbian erotica of the year, curated by the legendary Laura Antoniou, million-selling author of The Marteketplace series. These stories will make you want to call your girl in the middle of the afternoon and tell her things that make her squirm. Images of girlsex will take over your brain. Read these stories and you'll be compelled by sheer erotic need.



I was so, so super excited when I got asked to review Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 to help celebrate PRIDE month! As many of my regular readers know, I am an out-and-proud member of the LGBT community (pansexuals and demisexuals represent!). This book is the perfect anthology to help celebrate LGBT love. What I love best about Cleis Press anthologies is that it's more than just sex. Don't get me wrong- this is an erotica anthology. It's explicit. It's sexy. But what I mean is that the talented writers who contribute their short stories care about more than just the sexy bits. There's emotions at play here, there's plots. There's characters and POVs that have been given life. That's what makes anthologies such as Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 so great: there's twenty stories here, and each one is different and diverse. From the writing styles, to the kinks, to the relationship pairings, to even some fantasy, it's a celebration of all things girl love, and I absolutely adore that.

Of course, this is an anthology. This means that they all follow the central theme of girl on girl erotica, but are free to explore anywhere else within that bubble. Because there are twenty small, independent stories, it's easy to read this book one delicious bite at a time, or to just read it all the way through like a novel. Again, because it's an anthology, there is some hit-and-miss going on. I loved some stories, and disliked others, while some fell more towards the middle. However, when looking at the whole rather than the parts, I think this is a really good selection of stories that any one- male or female- who enjoys reading about F/F love shouldn't miss out on.

As always, I'm going to highlight the three stories that I liked the best in lieu of mini-reviewing all twenty stories. These are in no particular order, and are the ones that I most recommend reading (though, seriously, read the whole book. You won't regret it.). The first story I'm choosing to highlight is called "Learning to Cook" by Nan Andrews. This short story involves a picky customer, a fiery chef, and a dinner date that neither of them is soon to forget. I am a huge foodie, and because my father is a chef, I was pretty much raised in a kitchen. I loved the setting and the passion that was shown here. After all, if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen ;). The second story that I most enjoyed is called "Lovely Lady Liberty" by Nicole Wolfe. This story centers around a WASP pilot, a beautiful USO performer, and one helluva Fourth of July celebration. I really liked the unique setting of a USO show on a military base for this one. Plus, it's close to the fourth so I'm feeling extra patriotic. You'll feel more than just the sparks from the sparklers in this lovely lady's routine, I promise you. The last story I'd most recommend is titled "Arachne" by Catherine Lundoff. This erotica weaves a story (see what I did there?) of the famous Arachne and her challenge to Athena- but I've never seen it told quite like this before. I adore mythology, being a Classics minor myself. I loved the fantasy/myth interpretation of lesbian erotica.

All in all, read this book. If you love girls, if you love girls who love girls, if you just love a really good sex story now and then- this is the book for you. This is probably the best anthology I've read so far this year. Thanks so much for the copy, in exchange for my honest review.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast!

Title: Amber Smoke

Series: The Monster Within #2

Author: Kristin Cast

Publisher: Diversion Books

Release Date: June 9 2015

ISBN: e-9781626815520 | p-9781626815537

Price: e$9.99 | p$14.99

About the Book:

There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.


"Amber Smoke is thrilling and funny with just the right amount of magic. Brilliant job, Kristin Cast!" —Kresley Cole, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"I love Kristin Cast! In Amber Smoke, Cast's wit, creativity and talent shine! I turned the pages at lightning speed, ready for more! What a tasty treat!" —Gena Showalter, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author


Please try to keep it at or under 800 words if possible
“Just breathe. Everything is fine now." She straightened the skirt of her wrinkled dress and wiped away the tears flooding her eyes. "That was way close."
She took one more deep breath before the elevator door dinged. Eva tiptoed into the lobby, hoping she wouldn't run into Bridget making a last call dash to the hotel bar. She didn't have the strength to fake happiness, and she also didn't want to ruin her best friend's night. With no squealing friend in sight, she relaxed, pulled her car key from her clutch, and made her way into the quiet Tulsa night.
Eva began to regret "borrowing" her mom's designer shoes as she walked, with her toes pinched and heels blistered, down Main Street to her car.
"Couldn't parallel park under a street light. Had to park in a pull-through space off in the dark. But at least I'm out of there and away from Spencer." She sniffled back the last of her tears and dug for her phone to text Bridget.
Omw home. Call me later. Lots of Spencer stuff to talk about. He's such an ass! Be safe. Love you!
Distracted by her phone, she felt less uneasy about the dark trek to her car. "Let's see who's posted pictures from the party." Before she clicked the app's box, she stopped. A shape teetered on the brink of her peripheral vision. She stood on the sidewalk, frozen by panic.
Clunk, clunk. Clunk, clunk. Then a pause. They had to be footsteps. Maybe it was Spencer, pissed off and coming to get what he thought he was owed.
All the ways she could have avoided the terror building inside of her pummeled her thoughts. I should have just crashed in Bridget's room. Or never have gone up with him in the first place.
Without looking back, Eva wrangled her fear and sprinted toward the safety of her car. She had only gone a few steps when her pace slowed because of the pain of her shoes. Their rough straps rubbed raw on her toes and heels, and she hopped awkwardly down the street. Luckily, her silver Chevy Spark was only feet in front of her. She threw open the door and yanked it closed. Eva held her breath and looked in the driver's side mirror.
"You've got to be kidding me." An empty water bottle lazily tripped down the street and passed her car, creating the clunk, clunk she escaped. Dread released her stomach and she laughed with relief. "Wow. Now that was totally embarrassing. I'm so glad no one was out here to see me."
Her hands still shook from the encounter with the killer bottle, and she wrung them out, trying to take in deep mouthfuls of air to calm herself.
"And you didn't even lock the car doors. So stupid. What if someone was really chasing you? He could've just hopped in the passenger seat. And then I'd be trapped in this little box with some lunatic. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I really need to start listening to my mother." She tossed her clutch on to the passenger seat and began quoting her mother aloud. "Eva, park under streetlamps. It's safer. Always lock your car doors. It's safer."
A slick voice laughed softly from behind her. "Always check the backseat. It's safer."
Eva began to scream.

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About the Author:

Kristin Cast is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who teamed with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves relaxing with her significant other and their dogs, and discovering new hobbies. This year she'll work on swimming, yoga, and adding to her Doctor Who collection.

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One winner will get: (One) signed copy of the book (print), $50 Nook gift card, temporary tattoo metallic (book inspired object). US only.

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Blog Tour: Dragonkin Trilogy by Michael Meyerhofer

Title: Wytchfire (Bk 1)

Series: Dragonkin Trilogy

Author: Michael Meyerhofer

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Publication Date: April 28, 2014

Genre: High Fantasy

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In a land haunted by the legacy of dead dragons, Rowen Locke has been many things: orphan, gravedigger, mercenary. All he ever wanted was to become a Knight of Crane and wield a kingsteel sword against the kind of grown horrors his childhood knows all too well.

But that dream crumbled—replaced by a new nightmare.

War is overrunning the realms, an unprecedented duel of desire and revenge, steel and sorcery. And for one disgraced man who would be a knight, in a world where no one is blameless, the time has come to decide which side he’s on.


Title: Knightswrath (Bk 2)

Series: Dragonkin Trilogy

Author: Michael Meyerhofer

Publisher: Red  Adept Publishing

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Genre: High Fantasy

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Rowen Locke has achieved his dream of becoming a Knight of the Crane, and he now bears Knightswrath, the legendary sword of Fâyu Jinn. But the land remains torn, and though Rowen suffers doubts, he would see it healed. His knightly order is not what it seems, though, and allies remain thin.

When Rowen and his friends seek an alliance with the forest-dwelling Sylvs, a tangle of events results in a midnight duel that teaches Rowen a dangerous lesson and leaves him with a new companion of uncertain loyalties.

The sadistic Dhargots still threaten the kingdoms, but another menace lurks in the shadows, playing a game none can see. As Rowen struggles to prove his worth—to his allies and to himself—chaos raises its hand to strike. A price must be paid, and not even the wielder of Knightswrath will remain untouched.


Michael Meyerhofer 1

Michael Meyerhofer grew up in Iowa where he learned to cope with the unbridled excitement of the Midwest by reading books and not getting his hopes up. Probably due to his father’s influence, he developed a fondness for Star Trek, weight lifting, and collecting medieval weapons. He is also addicted to caffeine and the History Channel.

His fourth poetry book, What To Do If You’re Buried Alive, was recently published by Split Lip Press. He also serves as the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review. His poetry and prose have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Brevity, Ploughshares, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Rattle, and many other journals.

He and his fiancee currently live in Fresno, California, in a little house beside a very large cactus.


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Banish (Soul Retrievers) by Nicola Marsh!

Title: Banish

Series: Soul Retrievers

Author: Nicola Marsh

Release date: 5/26/15

Length: 264 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit... and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural...despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?


I screwed up my nose and reluctantly flipped open the screen. “Ronan sends me music clips he makes.” My finger hovered over the play button. “Tonight he said he’d composed a song just for me. It’s amazing.” “But?” “At the end of the song, the camera panned into another room and that’s when I saw...” My voice trembled and Angie’s lips thinned. “Show me.” I hit play and braced. The haunting melody embraced me, so familiar now I’d heard it repeated so many times over the last ten minutes. As the final notes faded, I stared at the screen, wanting to look away but unable to. Would Angie see it? Would she convince me I wasn’t going crazy? I waited. Five long, excruciating seconds. And nothing. The screen went black. I couldn’t look at Angie, my disappointment acute. She jabbed a finger at the keyboard. “Play it again.” Wanting to hug her, I hit the button. Another eight times. All the while hoping the gruesome scene was on some weird cyclical repeat. Nada. No girl, no body, no blood. No freaking idea what the hell was going on with me.

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About the Author:

USA TODAY bestselling author and multi-award winner Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.
She has published 54 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.
Her YA urban fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won the 2014 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best Young Adult novel.
She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance Boxed Set is now available worldwide for a special introductory price of only $0.99!

This ebook boxed set features all-new, never-before-published hot paranormal romances by eight New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance authors. Tortured alpha-male bad boys will ignite your darkest, most secret desires in these stories about vampires, shifters, dragons, fallen angels, werewolves, demons, psychic warriors and ghosts.

Here’s more about this fantastic eight book boxed set, including an excerpt from one of the stories.

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:

Dark and Dangerous

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance
By Jennifer Ashley, Caris Roane, Erin Kellison, Felicity Heaton, Erin Quinn, Laurie London, Bonnie Vanak and Colleen Gleason

LION EYES by Jennifer Ashley

Bree has just decided to give up trying to be a Shifter groupie when a lion Shifter slams into her truck and tells her to drive. Seamus is on the run from hunters, other Shifters, and who knows who else. All Bree knows is that he’s compelling, needs her help, and most intriguing of all, wears no Collar...

BLOOD FLAME by Caris Roane

Vampire Officer Connor of the Crescent Border Patrol tries to suppress his desire for the powerful witch, Iris Meldeere. Because the woman possesses the ability to kill him with the tips of her fingers, how can he possibly fall in love with her? When a double homicide throws them together, he soon finds his deepest fantasies fulfilled as Iris succumbs to his seductions. But as they battle together to stay alive, and love begins to consume them both, will the witch be able to forgive the dark secrets of his past …

HER SINFUL ANGEL by Felicity Heaton

Cast out of Heaven and now the king of Hell, Lucifer is a powerful fallen angel warrior with a heart as cold as ice and soul as black as the bottomless pit. For millennia, he has ruled his realm with an iron fist as he plots the demise of his ancient enemies. When one of those enemies dumps an unconscious mortal female in the courtyard of his fortress and leaves her there, Lucifer finds himself entranced by the beguiling beauty and tempted beyond all reason. But is the enchanting Nina an innocent pawn in the eternal game or part of a plot against him?

TEMPTED BY FIRE by Erin Kellison

A powerful dragon shifter has waited six hundred years to avenge the loss of his family, but the beautiful mediator sent to prevent violence among the Bloodkin doesn’t want to be his key to discovering the murderer—in fact, she wants nothing to do with dragons at all...

REBEL’S DESIRE by Laurie London

A jaded Iron Guild warrior cares about nothing except battling a ruthless enemy, but when a beautiful woman literally runs into his arms, he realizes she holds the key to his success. As passion ignites, he must decide whether to sacrifice the woman he’s falling for or dare to trust his heart again.


Trapped in the body of a human, the Reaper is about to fall in love with a woman he was never meant to have… When a reaper is trapped in Maggie’s estranged husband’s body, she knows only that the man with her husband’s eyes feels like a stranger… a compelling, seductive stranger who touches her in ways her treacherous husband never could. She wants to trust him, but what about the ghost who haunts their home, implicating him in a gruesome murder…

REDEMPTION by Bonnie Vanak

A cursed alpha wolf promises to free an enslaved Mage if she mates with him so he can sire an heir, not realizing she can destroy the dark secret keeping his pack alive.

RAGING DAWN by Colleen Gleason

After the vampires Max Denton hunts brutally murder his wife, he is nearly destroyed himself and spends the next ten years living a life of violence and revenge. But when sensitive information about his young daughter falls into the hands of the vampires, Max is forced to team up with the woman whose father ultimately caused the death of his wife. Savina Eleaisa has secrets of her own, and she’s determined to do whatever it takes to clear her father’s name: even if it involves seducing the most dangerous of vampires--with or without the help of the arrogant, brooding Max Denton.

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Connor held his spotting scope pressed to his eye. His adrenaline flowed as he levitated high in the air. He was forty feet above the witch, his heart pounding in his chest. He’d tried about a dozen times to leave, but couldn’t since his craving for the Tribunal Public Safety officer had finally tipped the needle into the red zone. He wanted her bad.

As a Border Patrol officer for Crescent Territory, he often spent time surveilling suspects. The problem was Iris Meldeere hadn’t broken the law. She wasn’t part of a Five Bridges drug cartel, she didn’t traffic innocent humans into their sick world, and she definitely kept her hands off the lucrative business of running flame drugs.

For a witch, she was a model citizen.

It was after midnight, but he was still in the middle of his shift. And he had no damn reason to be at Iris’s house, except he couldn’t help himself. Not that he had plans for the future since he could never actually be with the woman. As a witch, and a powerful one at that, she had the power to kill him with a touch of her fingers.

She moved around her overgrown garden, her voice reaching his ears almost incessantly. At first, he thought she wore a Blue Tooth because both hands were constantly busy, pruning, digging, cutting, planting. He’d rolled his eyes when he realized she was communicating with her plants. Very witch or very Iris, maybe both.

Apart from his bizarre need to spy on the woman, he hated witches with a passion.

A witch had started this whole shitfest with a brew pot. Result? Seventy thousand humans, in Phoenix alone, lived in a pit of hell, having gone through the alter and become something not human anymore. At least the original witch had changed as well. Witches were now one of the five alter species living in Five Bridges. Being an alter witch or a vampire wasn’t a choice; it was a genetic mutation.

His own story wasn’t unusual. Devastated by his wife’s death, he’d stupidly tried to numb-out with a hit of blood flame. But it had been laced with the alter serum that created a set of fangs and an annoying craving for blood. The flame drugs by themselves weren’t the culprit, only when enhanced with an alter serum.

He’d gained physical strength and long-life. Beyond that, he was living a nightmare, one that had started thirty years ago, not long after the flame drug craze had hit the human population.

Now he was here, watching a witch who had gotten hit with an alter serum herself ten years ago. Only her flame drug had carried the witch serum. He knew this because he’d Googled her. A lot.

She wore a purple smock over her jeans and a pair of flats that looked like ballet shoes, typical brew-faring clothes for one of her kind.

And he liked her in jeans. She wore them snug and that was part of the problem. He’d seen her dozens of times at the Tribunal building in her casual investigative uniform of short-sleeved t-shirt, also worn tight, along with the form-fitting jeans. He’d mentally stripped her clothes off about a thousand times. He swore he knew what she looked like naked.

Yeah. Obsessed.

And guilty as hell. His kind didn’t go with her kind.

His kind killed witches, wizards and anything else that dared to smash up herbs and throw them in a cauldron, or cast spells, or worse, kill with the tips of their fingers. Witches, like Iris, were a danger to vampires and shifters. She should be offed, like all her murdering, enthralling kind.

Yet, here he was, floating above her garden, so quiet he’d never be heard not even by another vampire. He’d gotten good at stalking the woman.

Grab the boxed set for just $0.99 to read this story and seven others…

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blitz & Giveaway: Daisy and the Front Man by Rebekah Purdy!

Daisy and the Front Man (Backstage Pass #3)
Release Date: 06/16/15
Entangled Publishing: Crush

Summary from Goodreads:
Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…

When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...

When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.

But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

Buy Links:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

Author Links:
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IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF by Nicole Maggi Release Day Celebration Blast & Giveaway!

Twin Willow’s Book #2 by Nicole Maggi
Release Day Celebration
June 16th, 2015

In The Mouth of the Wolf
Twin Willows Book 2
Author: Nicole Maggi
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Medallion Books

A continuation of the Twin Willows Series that began with WINTER FALLS...
The Twin Willows Waterfall is now under the control of the Benandanti, but for Alessia, the victory comes at a steep price. And the arrival of Nerina, one of the seven Concilio elders from the Friuli Clan, only complicates her life. Now she’s hiding a 450-year-old immortal on her farm, juggling school and her increasingly frustrated friends, and trying to keep the Malandanti from regaining the Waterfall. But it’s the passion that still lingers between her and Jonah that really keeps Alessia awake at night.

After a fatal visit from the Malandanti’s mage, Alessia brings in Jonah’s twin sister, Bree, to serve as a Benandanti spy. Bree has her own reasons for wanting to bring down the Malandanti, and soon she and Alessia find themselves in a tenuous alliance. But not even the powerful magic that Bree possesses nor the strong leadership that Nerina provides can stop the vicious Malandanti. As the two Clans barrel towards their inevitable collision, Alessia and Jonah are swept into the devastation and forced to make the ultimate choice

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Powell’s

Nicole was born in the suburbs of upstate New York, and began writing poems about unicorns and rainbows at a very early age. She detoured into acting, earned a BFA from Emerson College, and moved to NYC where she performed in lots of off-off-off-Broadway Shakespeare. After a decade of schlepping groceries on the subway, she and her husband hightailed it to sunny Los Angeles, where they now reside, surrounded by fruit trees, with their young daughter and two oddball cats. She is also the author of THE TWIN WILLOWS TRILOGY, published by Medallion Press. The first book, WINTER FALLS, is available now.



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Monday, June 15, 2015

Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Sharp Shootin' Cowboy by Victoria Vane!

Title: Sharp Shootin' Cowboy

Series: Hot Cowboy Nights #3

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Release Date: June 2 2015

ISBN: 9781492601180

Format: $7.99 paperback

About the Book:

Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.

Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.

Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.

Author Fun:

SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is not a typical romance. Reid Everett and Haley Cooper are two very different personalities. They are like opposite poles of a magnet and just as powerfully attracted to one another even though they are constantly at odds. This was a risky book for me because I knew many readers would tend to side with one character over the other based on who is more closely aligned with the reader’s own socio-political views, but I had to write it anyway.

To quote my hero Reid Everett, “Being on different sides doesn’t necessarily make us enemies. Good people are allowed to disagree. Some of the best solutions to the hardest problems result from differing minds coming together, meeting in the middle.”

That’s what SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is really all about- meeting half way and finding compromise, even when the odds are against it. I hope readers will enjoy getting to know and like both Reid and Haley.

Warmest regards,
Victoria Vane

What is your definition of what makes a happy relationship?
Haley – “I always believed that successful relationships had to be based on common interests and shared values. Reid and I had none of that … at least not in the beginning. That's why I thought it could never work between us… But I was wrong.”
Reid – “Trust is an integral part of a happy relationship but that can be difficult for a person like Haley who has been let down in the past. (He looks to Haley and grins.) She gave difficult a whole new meaning.”

When and where were you the happiest?
Haley – “When I found Reid in the middle of the Frank Church wilderness where we camped out alone under a million stars.”
Reid – “When Haley finally told me she loved me and then the lovemaking that followed. We were like Adam and Eve in paradise. Nothing can ever top that.”

What is something about Reid/Haley that drives you wild?
Haley – “His strength of character is the sexiest thing about Reid.”
Reid – “Everything about her makes me crazy. She’s the most contradictory woman I’ve ever met but I fell fast and I fell hard.”


He could see her getting more worked up by the minute, and damned if he wasn’t also—just not in the same way. She’d been baiting him from the start, spewing arguments that usually just pissed him off, but in this case, it was turning him on.
His gaze locked on her mouth. Her tongue darted out as if she read his thoughts. She drew a breath as if to formulate another rebuttal, but he’d had enough. Before her lips could spout off anymore of the Pacifist Tree Hugger’s Manifesto, he pulled her into his arms and silenced her with his.
The kiss came without warning, and Haley was too stunned at first to react. He began gently enough, his lips sliding over hers, hands cupping her face, thumbs stroking her jaw, and then he grew more insistent, his tongue probing the seal of her lips. His callused hands were simultaneously firm and gentle, and his lips paradoxically soft and commanding.
Mere seconds had her head spinning and stomach fluttering. She was slipping fast and not about to let him pull her in any deeper. Part of her wanted to give into it, to see where it might lead, but the other half resented his audacity. Her pride won out. She resisted the urge to soften, to open to him, then stiffened, pressing her hands against his chest.
He released her instantly.
She stepped back, knees weak and pulse racing. “I didn’t come here looking to hook up.”
“Neither did I. But sometimes unexpected things happen.” His gaze locked with hers, a look of speculation gleaming in his eyes. “When they do, it’s best to just go with your gut instinct.”
“That so? Well all my instincts scream ‘no marines,’ so don’t let it happen again.”
Suddenly remembering the cue in her hand, Haley turned back to the table. It took all of her will to focus back on the game. She could hardly believe how he’d nearly unraveled her with a single kiss. Then again, no one had ever kissed her like that. She made her break, pocketing the one, and then moved methodically around the table, calling each shot as she sank every solid. Only the eight ball remained, but it was trapped behind two stripes.
Reid’s lips curved with smug certainty. “Looks like I’ll get my turn after all.”
“Don’t count your chickens, cowboy.” She laid down her cue and searched the wall behind her for a shorter one. “Jump cue,” she answered his silent question.
“You’re kidding right?”
“Nope.” Approaching the table, she angled for her shot. She could almost feel his eyes on her ass. She glanced over her shoulder. Sure enough. He was leaning against the wall with both arms crossed over his broad chest, his gaze zeroed in on her behind.
“Enjoying the view?”
“Sure am,” he confessed, unabashed.
He was sadly mistaken if he thought he’d unnerve her. Keeping him in her peripheral vision, she widened her stance and stretched out over the table. All sign of smugness evaporated from his face. He tugged on his jeans.
Haley grinned, reveling in her small victory, and then prepared for a bigger one. “Eight ball, side pocket,” she declared with confidence. On a three count she took the shot, jumping the stripes to pocket the eight. “Yeah baby!” She threw down the cue and fisted the air, gloating in her triumph.
Reid gaped at the table. “I’ll be goddamned. How did you learn to do that?”
“My grandpa was a regional pool champion.”
“That bit of information was mighty sneaky to withhold.”
She shrugged. “You didn’t ask. Loser buys. I’ll take a mojito.”

Get it Here:

Amazon | Apple | BN | Indiebound | BAM | Chapters

About the Author:

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand by R.S. Mellette!

Title: Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand

Author: RS Mellette

Format: egalley

Pub. Date: December 8th 2014

Source: Mother Daughter Book Reviews.

Book Description via Goodreads:

"Everyone needs a little magic in their life."

Twelve-year-old Billy Bobble and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal, wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things – good and bad – are possible.



I think this would have been a book that I would have liked a lot when I was younger. There's a lot of action and suspense, and it's overall a pretty entertaining read. I'm seeing it labeled as a children's book, but personally I think that it would work better in the young adult genre, because there are a lot of smart explanations and science bits that might be a bit off putting to a younger reader.

This book is a relatively short one at about 200 or so pages, but it's not necessarily a quick reading. The beginning chapters were a bit slow moving and rough for me. I'm the first one to admit that I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to science and math. While I appreciated that the author tried to take the time to explain the background information and science behind the story's adventures, it took me a while to get through it. I'm glad that I stuck through to read the rest of it, but I can see people setting it down right away.

Once you get past that, the story picks up and is super fun. Both main characters are extremely likable and crazy smart. This book takes the fantasy aspect of magic and blends it well with fact-based science. I can see kids and young adults who love science picking this up and loving it, in the same vein as the Artemis Fowl books.

Unrelated to the novel itself, I really like the cover for this. It's quirky and fun, just like the book inside of it. It's eye-catching and I gotta say, I love the flamingo.

This book is worth reading, and I think science kids will like it a lot more than I did. The beginning's a bit rough, but if you stick through, you're rewarded with a fun magic adventure.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

PRIDE Month Review & Giveaway: The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism by Adrian Brooks!

Title: The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism

Author: Adrian Brooks

Format: $19.95, Trade Paper, 408 Pages, 6” x 9”

Pub. Date: June 9th 2015

Source: Cleis Press

Book Description:

Harvey Milk delivering a version of his impassioned Hope Speech. Bayard Rustin advising Martin Luther King Jr. Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad finishing her incredible swim from Cuba to Florida. The AIDS quilt. Edie Windsor's victory, which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. In this book, The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism, author Adrian Brooks tells the history of the nation’s clash over civil rights with amazing stories about some of the most recognizable gay rights heroes and heroines.

Available to readers in time for the events and celebrations that mark LGBT Pride Month in June, Brooks’ book is truly one of a kind. Filled with first-person interviews, The Right Side of History offers intimate and unique glimpses into the lives of some previously anonymous figures as well as legendary names from gay and civil rights movements across the nation.

Offering something for everyone—from academic scholars to students of life—The Right Side of History is an accessible history that explores activism from the Edwardian period into the 21st century. Simultaneously raucous and tender, Brooks’ work provides a diverse, inclusive, and in-depth look at the long-fought battle over gay rights in America.



Honestly, I wasn't really sure how I was going to read this book. I am a huge fan of Cleis Press's books, both fiction and nonfiction alike. However, I knew that this book was going to be one that I'd want to read slowly, in order to absorb each and every word.

It should be no secret to most of my regular readers by now that I am on the LGBTQI spectrum. That being said, I have a horrible concept of history when it comes to LGBT rights. I am very fortunate to be living in a society at a young age where people are so largely accepting of who I am. I know that that has definitely not always been the case. However, everything I know about LGBT history is self-taught, or was vaguely mentioned in a GSA lecture. That's sad considering I will have a minor in Sexuality Studies this spring. It's not something that I find to be talked about enough. Before reading this book I knew highlight words like "Stonewall" and "Shepard"- things I know about, but not in a bigger context.

Well I know now. Brooks does a great job of covering a large span of history in a smart way. It's full of information and points of view, but it's done in such a way that you want to read more. It's not like reading an information dump or a text book. I think it covers a lot of ground, but everything that is brought up is covered further, not just brought up for the sake of mentioning it. It's a really relatable, accessible dose of history.

I think this is a book that everyone would benefit from reading, be you straight or otherwise. It's a fight for rights that needs a more accessible, respectful discussion if you ask me, and is definitely a history that needs to be more widely taught. I can't recommend this book enough.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Get it Here:

Amazon | BN

About the Author:

Adrian Brooks- a regular contributor to Lambda Literary- is a writer, performer, and Quaker activist, who has been engaged in progressive political, spiritual, and social movements for fifty years. While attending the Friends World Institute in the 1960s, Brooks was an anti-war activist and a volunteer for Dr. Martin Luther King. Later, he attended Woodstock, participated in New York’s fledgling SOHO movement, and, after moving West in 1972, he became a radical gay liberation poet and performer/scriptwriter with the San Francisco “Angels of Light” free theater until 1980. A world citizen who has lived on five continents, Brooks continues a diverse legacy of good works by supporting HIV+ orphans in rural India. Currently, he lives in San Francisco.


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